Roadworks putting shoppers off town

A BANBRIDGE businessman has hit out at Roads Service for carrying out “senseless works” that, he said, are diverting would-be shoppers from the town centre.

The prominent shop owner, who did not wish to be named, said he is perplexed by the roadworks which have been ongoing for two weeks at the Huntly Road and are due to end this week.

The man said many shoppers he has spoken to are travelling to nearby towns instead, such is their frustration at being caught in major traffic jams.

“The traffic at the minute is terrible,” he told the Leader. “Cars are queued away back to Seapatrick. I think it is definitely having a direct effect on businesses.”

The businessman said people have indicated to him that they prefer to shop in other areas if they know roadworks will lengthen their journey into Banbridge.

He said, “People I know from Gilford said they just wouldn’t bother coming here because they’ll not get into the town or when they do they can’t get into a parking space because of all these diversions.

“The latest ones are just following on from the chaos we had in the town before Christmas.”

The man also claimed a lone diversion sign had been placed at the roundabout coming into Newry Street from the A1.

“People were being directed round Commercial Road at the back of the Downshire but then there were no further signs so people didn’t know where they were going. Imagine someone came from across the border and didn’t know the area, you would just get frustrated and head to Lisburn instead.”

A spokesman for Roads Service said they weren’t aware of any issue regarding this diversion sign but vowed to check the road again yesterday (Monday). They confirmed the road resurfacing work at the Huntly Road is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week.